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Miscarriage

Also called: Spontaneous abortion

Summary

A miscarriage is an unexpected loss of pregnancy before the 20th week of pregnancy. Most miscarriages happen very early in the pregnancy, often before a woman even knows she is pregnant.

Factors that may contribute to miscarriage include

Signs of a miscarriage include vaginal spotting, abdominal pain or cramping, and fluid or tissue passing from the vagina. Bleeding can be a symptom of miscarriage, but many women also have it in early pregnancy and don't miscarry. To be sure, contact your health care provider right away if you have bleeding.

Women who miscarry early in their pregnancy usually do not need any treatment. In some cases, there is tissue left in the uterus. Doctors use a procedure called a dilatation and curettage (D&C) or medicines to remove the tissue.

Counseling may help you cope with your grief. Later, if you do decide to try again, work closely with your health care provider to lower the risks. Many women who have a miscarriage go on to have healthy babies.

NIH: National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

Start Here

  • (American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists) - PDF Also in
  • (March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation) Also in
  • (Nemours Foundation)
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  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Child Health and Human Development)
  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research) Also in

Diagnosis and Tests

  • (American Association for Clinical Chemistry)
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  • (American Association for Clinical Chemistry)
  • Video (American College of Radiology, Radiological Society of North America) Also in
  • (American Association for Clinical Chemistry)
  • (March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation)

Treatments and Therapies

  • (American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists) Also in
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Child Health and Human Development) Also in

Related Issues

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute) Also in
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Child Health and Human Development) Also in
  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)

Specifics

  • (March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation) Also in
  • (American Society for Reproductive Medicine) Also in
  • (American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists) - PDF
  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research) Also in

Genetics

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine)

Statistics and Research

  • (March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation)

Clinical Trials

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)

Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)

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Patient Handouts

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